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Hard Candy Recipe

Hard Candy Recipe

Every evening for a week in December, my husband and I mix up several batches of this soothing candy. When we finish, we have all our favorite flavors and a rainbow of colors. The pieces look lovely in a clear candy dish or jar.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + cooling Cook: 30 min. YIELD:12 servings


  • 5 to 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons anise, lemon or orange extract
  • Red, yellow or orange liquid food coloring, optional


  • 1. Fill a 15x10x1-in. pan with confectioners' sugar to a depth of 1/2 in. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, make a continuous curved-line indentation in the sugar; set pan aside.
  • 2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and continue cooking for 3 minutes to dissolve any sugar crystals.
  • 3. Uncover and cook on medium-high heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 300° (hard-crack stage). Remove from the heat; stir in extract and food coloring if desired.
  • 4. Carefully pour into a glass measuring cup. Working quickly, pour into prepared indentation in pan. Cover candy with confectioners' sugar. When candy is cool enough to handle, cut into pieces with a scissors. Store in a covered container. Yield: 3/4 pound.
Editor's Note: We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.

Nutritional Facts

1 ounce-weight: 383 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 26mg sodium, 99g carbohydrate (89g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

Reviews for Hard Candy

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papawoman User ID: 2583919 46779
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2011

"I've made this two years in a row and my kids love to guess the flavors of each vibrant color. easy to make and you don't have to worry about it getting stale... Nice to have out over the holiday season."

TexasCera User ID: 5579460 24683
Reviewed Nov. 7, 2010

"The recipe is great, and if you follow the instructions (and live in a non-humid climate like I do!) it turns out as it should. I use an unlined copper pan and found the combination of instructions and equipment perfect the first time out. For those wondering about the wasting of powdered sugar: use hard candy molds and save yourself a bag of sugar. You have to throw it out when the candies have set, which I found irritating the next time I went to the cupboard for powdered sugar and realized I'd thrown a perfectly good bag away. Also, use oil based flavoring (no matter what flavor) or the flavor will be too mild. Non-oil based flavoring evaporates quickly at this high of a heat. Finally, this can be an awful mess to clean up, as the candy hardens on all your tools and you'll have to melt it off again. If you boil water in your pot after making this recipe, the candy comes off fast and smooth. For other tools (like the glass measuring cup or any silicone stirers), use hot water from a coffee pot to melt the candy."

stanislava User ID: 4094616 22839
Reviewed Feb. 24, 2010

"a bit hard to make the first because i had never made candy like this before but the second time was easy. the 3rd time i made this candy i used 1\2 teaspoon of mango oil and 1\2 teaspoon of peach oil instead of the extract and it came out great and i got wonderful reviews for it."

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